Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:30 AM EST odds are subject to change.
Georgia St -9½ over Texas A&M Commerce
Convocation Center, Atlanta, GA
3:00 PM EST. Despite this being a D-I matchup v a D-II, Georgia State is being undersold here in a big way. Commerce plays D-i teams frequently and they’ve had some nice showings too. Specifically, the Lions have played SMU and lost by 17 but came in under the number. Texas Commerce also played Air Force and as a 10-point pooch, they won outright in OT. The Lions also played UNC Asheville and covered and they played Northern Colorado. The Lions were a 13-point underdog against Northern Colorado and lost by just three points. That’s four games, all against Division I teams and four covers for the A&M Commerce and now they’re getting far too much credit here, not only because they’ve been so competitive but Georgia State is 0-3 Against the Spread (ATS). It’s now time to pounce on a favorite that’s being undersold.
The Georgia State Panthers made the NCAA Tournament in 2021-22 for the third time in four seasons, following a streak in which it won 12 of its last 13 games going into the Big Dance. That included a Sun Belt Tournament championship, the program’s fourth since joining the league in 2013. Former head coach Rob Lanier left to take the open job at SMU following the season. The Panthers responded by reeling in Atlanta native Jonas Hayes, who was fresh off of leading Xavier to an NIT championship as interim head coach mid-tournament. Yes, the Musketeers fired their head coach, Travis Steele, one game into the NIT — so it was Hayes who eventually led them to NIT glory in Madison Square Garden. This is Hayes’ first permanent head coaching job following 17 seasons as an assistant. Now, he holds the keys to perhaps the conference’s strongest program. The Panthers have winners, but they also needed to hit the transfer portal to fill a roster that saw several players leave after Lanier left. Hayes responded by landing three players — Jamaine Mann of Vanderbilt, Dwon Odom of Xavier and Brenden Tucker of Charleston — all of whom expected to make an impact right away.
Georgia State is 2-2 after four games but they’re 0-3 ATS. However, one loss was to Georgia Tech by two points. They also lost to EKU by one point. The Panthers could be 4-0 with wins over Mercer, Georgia Tech and EKU but because the market and media is so fascinated with wins and losses, we get the Panthers today at a true discount. The Panthers feature a pair of lockdown players on the perimeter. That is vitally important in Hayes’ system, which will look different game to game and that will have an emphasis on perimeter pressure. When you add those two guys to returning pieces like Ja’Heim Hudson, who was top-10 in the Sun Belt in block rate and offensive rebounding rate, the Panthers will be among the best defenses in the conference yet again. Yeah, they haven’t been covering and they haven’t been great but isn’t that precisely what we’re looking for? A very good Panthers’ squad is about to whack someone and this is that day.
Georgia St -9½ -107 (Risking 2.14 units - To Win: 2.00)